2009 has been a very eventful year.

January started with the news that Norman Hardyman had died. Norman and his wife Carol were both past members of our church; some years ago they moved to be closer to their family.

On the 24th January we had a very successful Burns Night Supper.

February saw us getting back into the church’s routine. There was a wedding on St. Valentine’s Day, and on the 28th the Rev Alan Willcocks came for a St David’s Day concert and meal. March started the Lent Lunches and the Women’s World Day of Prayer, held this year in the Methodist church.

Dawlish and the Teignmouth Churches entertained the Torbay URC Churches with a Murder Mystery Night at Teignmouth. On the 10th it was the funeral of Crawford Munn, one of oldest church members. On 28th saw us dancing and tapping our feet to a 50s and 60s Night in the hall, with Ian Hattersly providing the music.

On Maundy Thursday we and the Methodist Church had a Sedar (Passover) Meal with in their church hall and as usual on Easter Sunday there was a Dawn service at 5.30 on the beach with over sixty people present. This was followed by breakfast in the church foyer.

Our six months of fund raising ended on 22nd with a concert for St. George’s Day and we were able to announce we had reached our target of £25,000. This triggered a magnificent donation of £100,000.

During Christian Aid week in May we had a united get together at St. Mary’s Church Hall, which was great fun. June was a busy church month with a Baptism on the 13th, and then funeral of Joan Williams, one of our longest serving members, on the 23rd. In August we started repairing the church hall and we also started Boccia, a type of indoor bowls, for the disabled and able-bodied. We experiment with a Music Hall Concert during Carnival week, and the church was open throughout the Week to provide a place of peace and prayer for those wanting it. On the day of the Carnival Parade we served free drinks and biscuits to the crowd, and June and Rosemary dressed up as URC gull to join the Parade.

The autumn was clouded with a series of deaths, starting with that of Bill Pike died, followed by Joy Auld, Joan Perry, Ruth Hurst (another of our long serving members), Revd Maurice Bennett funeral (a past Minister of our church and then Marion Erricker.

On the brighter side, in the autumn Aubrey Mabin gave a superb organ recital and there was a Remembrance Concert when the church was full. The year finished with a grand Christmas Day Dinner for 42 people, given by the church for those on their own at Christmas.

Thank you all for all your help over the year, and here’s looking forward to the year ahead.

Rosemary Holmes, Church Secretary


Every Wednesday 10.00 – noon, with a cake stall on the third Wednesday

We have a small band of regular helpers for our church Coffee Morning, Pam Green, Chris & Ian Hattersley and Rosemary Holmes. June Wilson supervises the cake stall, and Pat Willis has her beautiful cards for sale twice a month. It is so nice to see people coming into the church, some just for coffee to talk, and to meet their friends, but others to look at the church and pray and to sit in the church for a bit of peace and quiet. Many put a prayer on the prayer board.

The Coffee Mornings are not just to serve coffee, they are a time of witness, a chance to smile and to be friendly, and a chance to help. Many people on holiday seem to come back year after year, so we must be doing something right. We are not always busy, but those are the times when you can really get to know and talk to the customers.

We are always on the lookout for additional helpers, so if you could, please have a word with Rosemary.

A big THANK YOU for those who have helped me in the last year.

Rosemary Holmes, Coffee Morning Team leader



Lesley Bates took over from Michael Davenport as co-ordinator of the Christian Aid Committee , and sincere thanks were sent to him and his wife for all there hard work.

This was another year of activities for Christian Aid Week. Gardens were opened, plants and preserves sold, cream teas could be found in abundance to be consumed within the friendly warm atmosphere of our local churches. Door to door is hard work and can seem thankless some-times, but all of us who have done this work, have had our "highs and lows”. Some people we call on actually look forward to seeing us!! We go out in faith to witness God’ s love for the poor and needy in other countries, and I personally have had great fun and laughter with all my friends.

This year’ s total was £9,757.30!! Not bad for a small community, including Holcombe and Cofton. It shows we care and people want to be part of it.

Al so superb Lent Hunger Lunches were held and there was a street collection and a flag day later in the year and yes!! yet more food was served - teacakes and crumpets.

My thanks go out to all those who helped prepare these events.

I wish Pat and Geoff Willis who have taken over from me as Christian Aid coordinators for our church. I wish them all the best in the coming year. Please give them as much help and support as is possible.

A HUGE THANK YOU for all the help that I received over the years

Pauline Laybourne, Church Christian Aid representative



A group of 42 helpers and guests sat down for a traditional lunch at Dawlish URC on Christmas Day. It was the first time the repaired Strand Hall had been used for the occasion. “I don’t know what I would have done without this, I get so fed up at Christmas,” one guest said. A another guest had had her name on the list since August. A visit from the Mayor of Dawlish was appreciated by everyone.

Guests enjoyed the starter, main course and Christmas pudding and some even had room for one or two of the chocolates that the Deputy Mayor, Helen Humphries, had brought when she popped in to say ‘hello’. Yum. Great music and singing of carols and old time songs was accompanied by Ian Hattersley and really enjoyed. A visit from Father Christmas brought everyone a small gift to take home.

Many thanks to all who helped especially Ian and Christine who also give lifts to and fro the meal.

Marie Whitehead, Christmas Day Lunch organiser


meets every Thursday from 2.30 in the Strand Hall

A group of ladies meet each Thursday in Strand Hall to exercise. The exercises last about fifty minutes which is followed by a cup of tea and a chat. Not only do we "Keep Fit" but we have become friends.

There are only three members belonging to our Church. I would be delighted if more URC members came. Please think about it. Remember a healthy body keeps a healthy mind.

June Wilson, Keep Fit manager


meets every other Tuesday 2.00 - 4.00 in the foyer

Another productive year for Knit and Chat. We are all still knitting six years later with the same dedication and enjoyment which we had at the start. We feel part of the work which the Friends of Mulange Orphans in Malawi does. [There is further information about FOMO on the web side click here.]

Some of our members are now unable to come but still are knitting for us at home and we thank them for their continuing enthusiasm. We have another four new members who came as a result of the poster inviting them to come in and knit. They attend now and then, and we still have our honorary member in Wanstead who sent another 20 jumpers. And our outworkers are still knitting for us.

This year on 6th December, 180 jumpers of various sizes, 105 Comfort Dolls and 9 large and 9 small blankets were blessed and sent to the centre that organises the distribution of all the gifts to Malawi for the orphans.

Knit and Chat also gave a donation of £50 and the congregation responded generously with another £90 and so a cheque for £140 was sent to F.O.M.O and we have received a thank you letter from them acknowledging the gift.

Knit and Chat would like to thank everyone who has helped in anyway, with money, gifts of wool, by knitting the occasional jumper and also showing an interest in the charity.

We believe it is another way to use our talents and skills for these needy children. We also very much enjoy our fortnightly meetings 2 till 4 on Tuesday afternoons in the foyer, knitting and chatting! Come and join us. An opportunity to do good and feel the benefit!

Roma Hibberd, Leader


meets third Friday of each month 3.45 - 6.00 in the Methodist Church Hall


Dawlish Messy Church is run jointly by us at the URC and the Methodists. We meet once a month on a Friday from 3.45 and 6.00. We have lots of craft, games, worship and end with a meal together. Messy Church is two years old this month and we have made good relationships with children and their parents alike and have about 40 regular attenders.

Given that neither we nor the Methodists see many children on a Sunday we must treasure this contact and realise that for some of these families this is the only time that they hear about God’s love.

In August we held two mornings of Messy Church as a type of Holiday Club when we all enjoyed dressing up as pirates and searched for the treasure! It turned out that the best treasure was Jesus and we all had a lot of fun discovering this! We learnt new songs and dances and we had loads of tasty and messy activities!

Many thanks to our regular helpers: Pam, Jan, Pat and Jean.

Marie Whitehead, Leader



The Committee has met twice during the year and worked on the following projects:

Commitment for Life
At a special Service on 5th July, Marion Pitman shared with us some of her experiences on a recent visit to Zimbabwe relating to the work of Silviera House. The Boxes into which some people put odd coins during the year were blessed, and envelopes were provided for those who wished to make personal contributions. Prayers for the places served by the Commitment for Life scheme are also included in the church’s monthly In Touch information sheet.

Christian Aid
Members of our congregation again helped with the House to House collections during Christian Aid Week, but they, and people from other Churches, encountered more resistance to giving than in previous years. The Dawlish Christian Aid Committee is considering new ways of collecting in future years in order to make it more worthwhile. However, the Flag Day in September, with a good number of static collectors, was more successful. Pauline Laybourne again organised the cream teas during Christian Aid Week, and a joint social for people connected with Christian Aid and Christians Together in Dawlish and District was held in St. Mary's Church Hall, Dawlish Warren. This was a great success.

Rosemary and Jean continue to represent the Church on the Fairtrade Committee, which meets monthly. During Fairtrade Fortnight, we had the usual promotional stall outside our Church on two days. It was gratifying to discover that the majority of people say that they know about Fairtrade, and a good number say that they buy Fairtrade goods. The Fashion Show at the Community College, when models wore clothes made from Fairtrade material, was well attended and enjoyed by the students. The competition in which 51 local shops displayed Fairtrade items which they do not normally sell, was won by two children and a lady from Brixham! The Committee is now working on the events planned for the next Fairtrade Fortnight.

FOMO (Friends of Mulanje Orphanages)
We are grateful for the larger jumpers which the Knit and Chat Group continue to produce. These are supplemented by jumpers and teddies from ladies at The Avenue Church, Newton Abbot, knitted goods from Ashburton and school bags from The Inner Wheel and Trefoil Guild. Pictures of the orphans and work done in the Centres, taken by Jean's daughter when she went in October with the second party of students from her brother's school in Gosport, were able to be shown during the Service in November, when the Rev. Roz. Harrison blessed the labour of the knitters. For more information about FOMO click here

Christians Together in Dawlish and District
United Services took place during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at St. Agatha's, in our Church on Ash Wednesday, at the Methodist Church for the Women's World Day of Prayer, at St. Agatha's on Good Friday prior to the Service on The Lawn, in Holcombe Village Hall to start Christian Aid Week, and at St. Gregory's on Advent Sunday.

A conjurer was a big hit at the Carnival Service, and our Church was open each day during Carnival Week to provide a quiet space for those who wished to get away from the hub-bub on the Lawn.

We continue to meet with our Methodist friends for an Iona Service on the last Sunday evening of each month, for the Maundy Thursday Service, the Ascension Day service and on Christmas Day. The Methodist minister, Revd Bill Robertson has taken a couple of Services in our Church while Roger has been 'across The Brook' to the Methodist Church. The Music Group from both Churches, and Methodist Local Preachers have also taken our Services while Jean occasionally takes a Service at the Methodist Church. Joint Bible Studies on Friday lunch times have been re-instated, and several of our folk help once a month with Messy Church which Marie and Alethe organise.

Church Representatives
We are grateful to Pauline and Rosemary for continuing to represent us on the Christian Aid Committee; Rosemary and Jean on the Fairtrade Committee; Rychard, Rosemary and Jean on the Christians Together Forum; and Stella on the Women’s World Day of Prayer Committee.

Jean Potter, Convener



Several years ago the United Reformed Church introduced the Training for Learning and Service [TLS] Study Schemes to enable people to learn more about and train to be of service in the Church as Lay Preachers, Prayer Group leaders, Pastoral Carers, Community Leaders, Evangelists etc. More recently a less academic and intensive course was introduced known as TLS LITE [Local Introductory Training Experiences]. A group was started in this area, out of which a Worship Group evolved which takes occasional Services at Kingskerswell and Dawlish United Reformed Churches and Teignmouth Salvation Army.

During the past year we took two Services in Dawlish, one at Kingskerswell and one at the Salvation Army. Members have also taken part in the monthly dramatic presentations as we 'Walk through the Old Testament'. We hope that we may be able to continue to serve Dawlish United Reformed Church in this way if you so wish.

Jean Potter, local TLS tutor and Group Convener


meets every Wednesday 2.30 -3.30 in the foyer

Our small but enthusiastic group continues to meet on Wednesday afternoons. Currently we have eight members with occasional visitors, especially in summertime. We have enjoyed - thanks to videos -visits to the Peak District, Greece and Turkey, and National Parks of America. Leading up to Good Friday we watched "Jesus, the last days". Other meetings were filled with nostalgic tales of childhood, old Dawlish and even "Olive's Life Story"! We have listened to poems, Welsh mysteries, an interesting account of Maggie's work, and music - including a delightful afternoon with Elwyn and Carol.

Our most unusual guest was "Ty", a big, beautiful German Shepherd dog who with his owner, Pat Neal, visits the sick in homes and hospitals. Pat gave a very interesting talk about her work with dogs and Ty happily accepted doggie treats from each of us.

The usual session of carols and mince pies brought another year of Friendship hour to a happy conclusion.

Many thanks to ALL speakers and contributors - we would love to welcome new members and speakers.

Jan Adams, Organiser


meets every Wednesday 10.00 - 12.00 in the Strand Hall

We are pleased to announce that our Parents and Toddlers Group re-commenced on January 13th after a break of five months while waiting for the hall to be finished. I spent a day of phone calls to the Mums to let them know we were opening. I only got two ‘yes’s and two ‘maybe’s.

On the first day back one Mum and one Gran turned up with children. We had an enquiry from a young mum who saw the notice boards outside and said she would bring a friend with her next week - (she didn't!)

All were very impressed with the new facilities. So - do you have family, friends or neighbours who have small children who would like to join us on Wednesdays mornings? Please spread the word, we need them.

A lot of time was spent locating and sorting our toys and belongings putting them where we could reach and find them in the extensive new storage cupboards. I am sure it will take a while to get into a routine in these new premises.

We still need helpers and offers of help from anyone with a couple of hours to spare would always be welcome.

A big thank you to all involved in the refurbishment.

June Makey, Group Convener